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January 21, 2015

President Obama calls gay marriage a 'civil right'

US president Barack Obama made history today (21 January) by saying the words 'lesbian,' 'bisexual' and 'transgender' for the first in a state of the union address.

The president said that he pushed for LGBTI rights because 'as Americans, we respect human dignity.'

'That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender,' he said.

January 21, 2015

Recent murder of a transgender woman is blamed on state and police apathy

Transgender activists in the Indian city of Hyderabad have called for a panel similar to the Human Rights Commission, citing a rise in anti-trans violence in Telangana state.

The Telangana Hijra Transgender Samithi (THTS) collective made the demand on Monday (19 January) after the murder of one of their sisters.

Pavallika, 25, was found dead on a construction site in the early hours of Saturday (17 January) morning.

January 21, 2015

Majority of trans inmates want separate prisons to avoid sexual harassment

Vietnam may house LGBTI prisoners in separate jails to protect them from sexual harassment.

The plan was proposed to the ministry of public security by the Social, Economic and Environmental Institute, which has studied gender-related issues for years.

A 2014 report found that the majority of transgender inmates wanted separate jails to avoid the risk of sexual harassment. LGBTI prisoners are at greatest risk of sexual harassment.

The institute cited statistics from California, which showed 67% of LGBTI inmates have suffered sexual harassment.

January 15, 2015

Health Ministry advises driving bans will only be given out in extreme conditions

Russia will allow trans people to drive.

Following a legal decree saying all people who suffer from a 'mental disorder' should stay off the road, a government official has said being trans is not enough of a 'disability'.

Last week, the government announced that anyone suffering from a 'sex disorder' would be ordered to give up their driving license.

January 8, 2015

Stylist is barred from both the male and female sections of the holy site

A transgender woman Monday (5 January) was barred from both the male and female sections of the Western Wall in Israel, the country with the most progressive trans policies in the Middle East.

Stylist Kay Long from Tel Aviv visited Jerusalem with a friend from Madrid, but was refused entry to the female section of the wall by a 'modesty volunteer' who said she was not a woman. She was then yelled away from the men's area.

The Western Wall, or Kotel, is the only remaining part of the Temple Mount and is the holiest site in Judaism.

January 8, 2015

Right wing US Christian writer Gina Miller claims transgender people are possessed by demons in a column about the death of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn – blaming the high rate of suicide among transgender people not on prejudice against them but on their ‘open rebellion against God’

A US Christian writer and broadcaster has used the death of Leelah Alcorn to attack the LGBTI community and ‘radical homosexual activists’ in a column that claims the teen’s suicide ‘shows [the] tragic folly of “transgender" delusion [sic].’

Miller made the comments in an article published on right wing ‘alternative media’ website RenewAmerica in which she claimed that transgender people had themselves to blame for the high rate of suicide in their community.

January 2, 2015

'Your absence has broken our hearts. The love for you was in the world all along. It sat quiet, waiting'

I will never forget the stunning image of Matthew Shepard’s hate crime. A young beautiful human was beaten, tortured and left for dead in an unthinkable violation. It shocked me when I saw the images, and I was not alone. Matthew’s fate left and indelible impression that has become part of our collective culture to this day.

January 2, 2015

‘Love your children’, says Deacon Ray Dever of St Paul Catholic Church, Tampa, Florida

The death last Sunday morning of Leelah Alcorn in Ohio has again led many to question the impact of religious doctrine upon the lives of LGBTI people.

‘We don't support that, religiously,’ said Carla Alcorn – Leelah’s mother – when asked by CNN reporter about her daughter’s desire to transition.

January 2, 2015

Carla Alcorn has given an interview in which she discusses her daughter’s suicide: ‘People need to know that I loved him. He was a good kid, a good boy’

The mother of Leelah Alcorn has given an interview to CNN in which she talks about Leelah’s death, her online suicide note, and some of the condemnation that she and her husband, Doug, have received.

December 29, 2014

The US Department of Education has issued a directive to federally funded schools explaining that transgender students must be allowed into the class of their preferred gender in single-sex educational settings

The US Department of Education has expanded guidelines that protect transgender people in schools under federal laws covering sex discrimination, sending out an official ‘significant guidance document’ to clarify that transgender students must be allowed to attend single-sex classes of their preferred gender.

The Department of Education announced that it had decided that sex discrimination laws covered transgender students in April and the new document gives further advice to schools that receive federal funding on how they should approach the issue.

December 25, 2014

Adults can change their legal gender after a 6-month consideration period

Activists and politicians have given a big Christmas present to the transgender community in Taiwan.

In a month, the Taiwanese authorities will stop requiring trans people to undergo reassignment operation before changing their legal gender, scrapping a policy that they now consider 'inhumane'.

A special gender change commmitee will be set up to consider applications filed by trans individuals aged 18 or above, who will each be given a 6-month consideration period.

December 22, 2014

The woman, who has served alongside the prince as a search and rescue pilot, has spoken out about her life, career and transition process

The RAF’s only openly transgender plane pilot, Flight Lieutenant Ayla Holdom, has given a moving interview to the Mail on Sunday in which she discusses her life – and was full of praise for the way in which her colleagues in Britain's Royal Air Force accepted her transition.

December 19, 2014

AG Eric Holder has announced that federal prosecutors will take the position going forward that sex discrimination provisions in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 include protections against discrimination based on gender identity

US Attorney General Holder announced yesterday that the Department of Justice will take the position that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covering sex discrimination extends to claims of discrimination based on an individual’s gender identity, including transgender status when prosecuting government job discrimination cases.

December 16, 2014

Government also proposes scholarships and pensions for transgender people

Low income families with transgender could soon receive child support and study allowances under a new scheme drawn up by the Indian government.

The draft plan also includes skill-development aid and pensions for transgender people from the ages of 40 to 60.

To receive the Rs1,000 ($15.8) a month subsidy, parents have to certify their child shows 'gender non-conforming behavior.'

December 9, 2014

Three transgender residents sue the city for discrimination

Transgender people in New York City will no longer be required to undergo sex reassignment surgery to change the gender on their birth certificates.

The city council yesterday (8 December) passed a bill that eliminated the 'antiquated' requirement by 39 votes to four, with three absentations.

The legislation was introduced by councilman Corey Johnson in October and is expected to be signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

November 25, 2014

Survey finds transgender people are treated the worst

More than one-third of LGBTI Nepalis have reported discrimination or abuse in three or more public settings, according to a recent study.

The Los Angeles-based Williams Institute and the local Blue Diamond Society (BDS) surveyed 1,500 people from 32 of Nepal’s 75 districts, including individuals from 150 caste and ethnic groups.

November 24, 2014

India's sixth largest city has reported 10 anti-trans murders, three gang rapes and five acid attacks since March

There were 37 reported anti-trans attacks in Hyderabad since March, including 10 murders, three gang rapes and five acid attacks.

However, Telangana Hijra Transgender Samithi (THTS) said more anti-trans attacks go unreported every day in India's sixth largest city and 90 per cent of transgender women had attempted suicide.

The group mourned their murdered sisters last week on the international Transgender Day of Remembrance (20 November).

November 24, 2014

Blockbuster gay destination reaches out to trans travellers following trailblazing study

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) has announced its intention to better cater for the needs of trans travellers following a pioneering new study.

The popular beachside destination commissioned the survey, completed by over 700 self-identified members of the American trans community, earlier this year.

November 19, 2014

One was just eight years old, murdered by her father after she told him she was trans

Trans people have been stoned to death, burned alive and had their eyes plucked out by their murderer, a new report says.

It highlights the tragedies of 226 trans people murdered in the last 12 months. 11 of the victims were 18 years old or younger.

But even these harrowing stories are likely just the tip of the iceberg.

Brazil and Mexico, once again, lead the list in the most reported killings of trans men and woman, according to a new report released by Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring project.

November 17, 2014

City allows trans people to legally change their gender without a court order

Mexico City has approved a bill to allow transgender people to legally change their gender without a court order.

The Legislative Assembly of the Federal District passed the legislation on Thursday (13 November) by 42 votes to zero. Six lawmakers abstained.

Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera proposed the bill on the recommendation of the assembly's Commission for Attention to Vulnerable Groups.

Jorge Zepeda Cruz, president of the commission, said in a statement that the legal changes were ‘inevitable.’

November 17, 2014

Dating website is taking some inspiration from Facebook, hoping to reach a broader demographic of users

Online dating website OkCupid has expanded its gender and sexuality options for its users.

Previously only allowing users to identify as either male or female as their gender, and gay, straight, or bisexual as their sexual orientation, the website is slowly rolling out the new options.

The gender options are now: woman, man, agender, adrogynous, bigender, cis man, cis woman, genderfluid, genderqueer, hijra, intersex, non-binary, other, pangender, transfeminine, transgender, transmasculine, transsexual, trans man, trans woman and two-spirit.

November 14, 2014

Bangkok-based agency has 18 girls in its trans division

A Thai modeling agency has launched the first transgender model division in the world.

The Bangkok-based Apple Modeling Agency annouced the division on Tuesday (11 November) and has 18 transgender girls on its books.

Apple is one of the leading and largest modeling agencies in the southeast Asian country.

Draq queen Pangina Heals interviewed ten of the models for Coconuts TV on a photo shoot for Lips magazine.

'We have three physical types of transgender models,' said Siwaporn Hotarapawanond, director of the agency.

November 10, 2014

Transgender bride cannot change her gender on offical documents so the union is legal

Two women have become the first gay couple to register their marriage in Russia despite laws banning same-sex unions.

Alyona Fursova and Irina Shumilova arrived at a St Petersburg registry on Friday both wearing white wedding dresses and carried bouquets.

The Family Code of Russia states that marriage is 'a voluntary consent of a man and a woman' but the couple found a loophole in the law.

Fursova is transgender and on hormone therapy and despite looking and living as a woman, she is unable to change her gender on legal documents.

November 10, 2014

Laotian runner-up sparks third gender debate in her Communist country

A 22-year-old Venezuelan on Saturday night was crowned Miss International Queen in Thailand at the world's biggest beauty pageant for transvestites and transgender women.

Isabella Santiago beat 21 other contestants from 18 countries to win the title and 440,000 baht (US$12,500) in prize money in the resort town of Pattaya. The winner can also opt for a free cosmetic procedure, including gender reassignment surgery.